By Becky Squire
I don't remember any specific details about Sunday, March 8th. I'm sure it was just like any other Sunday for me and my family. I probably forgot what time church started because we're "only" 15 months into the new schedule. But I'm sure we still arrived early so my 15-year-old son could prepare the sacrament. I'm positive my two youngest boys fought over whose turn it was to sit by me. And I'm sure that Relief Society was uplifting and inspiring.
What I do remember is that the next day as I sat down to prepare my gospel doctrine lesson for the following week, I felt frozen. I opened the Come Follow Me manual accompanied by my scriptures and just couldn't do it. Odd. So, I left it for the next day. But when I tried again, the same thing happened. Although I've been teaching gospel doctrine for almost three years, it still terrifies me every single time. I like to be as prepared as possible and had never felt stuck like this before. Finally, on Thursday I decided to just plow through and try my best to prepare something. Anything. But as I sat on my bed and pulled out my scriptures, I received an alert on my phone. Church gatherings suspended. I immediately closed my scriptures and let out a sigh of relief. But now I would give anything to share that lesson.
If you have a church calling, you may be wondering if there's anything you can do while everyone is quarantined. Many of you might be using your creativity to magnify your callings, while others may have used this time take an indefinite break. But we can all do more.
Rely on Revelation
When you were set apart, you received priesthood authority to perform your calling. As you prayerfully consider the individuals in your class/quorum, you are entitled to receive revelation on how you might bless their lives.
Now is the time to be creative, think outside the box, and try new ways to maintain correspondence. I know of young women groups who meet online for activities and primary teachers who deliver treats to each of the kids in their class. What can you do differently to continue serving in your calling?
Up Your Ministering Game
We've had almost two years to practice the newer, holier approach to caring for others called ministering. Out with the old "rule" that we have to physically visit members in their home. I believe ministering has prepared us to think more creatively and to act in a higher way to care for our neighbors. Ministering is being involved in someone’s life. How can you still be involved without being in their proximity?
While the Bishop still presides over the ordinance of the sacrament, even in our homes, we must remember that we don't need to follow the format of a sacrament meeting. We should also not try to re-create our quorum or classroom instruction.
Follow Local Guidelines
My first Sunday "off," I noticed a friend post on Facebook that she was directing her gospel doctrine class on a Zoom call. I thought that was a great idea. But I was shortly informed that my local leaders encouraged us to keep Sunday meetings within our immediate family. Your area authorities might prescribe something different from other areas. Find out what’s appropriate direction from your local leaders.
The future is unknown as we move forward to a new normal way of life. I don't know when I'll get to hear my boys argue over who gets to sit by me in sacrament meeting. I don't know when I'll get to hug my Relief Society sisters again. And I especially don't know if I'll even remember what time church starts. But I do know that I'm going to give more effort to my calling. After all, "the Lord loves effort and effort brings rewards."
Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman Magazine. Follow Becky Squire on Instagram